The Pros and Cons of Using Postcards for Direct Mail

February 25th, 2019 by

There is no question that postcards have an important place in the world of direct mail. We love postcards for easy to digest offers, like real estate offers or swimming pool service.  We do not recommend them for fund raising offers – non-profits need way more space to tell their compelling story.

In a nutshell, they perform better for certain businesses and offers than others.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using postcards.


  • Postcards are highly scannable.
  • They have instant impact like mini billboards in the mail – perfect for certain products and services.
  • They are a fast read. Most can be read in their entirety in less than 2 or 3 minutes.
  • They are faster, easier and more affordable to produce than other direct mail formats; they can be mailed quickly and within most budgets.
  • Postage for postcards may cost less than other formats if the postcards meet USPS standards.
  • They are easily retained and passed along.
  • They are great to use as a part of a direct marketing campaign and rotate into the schedule.
  • Work well with USPS Informed Delivery.


  • Postcards appear less personal than mailings inserted into envelopes.
  • They are immediately seen as advertising. There’s no easy way to create anticipation.
  • Postcards have limited space to tell a story. This is especially tough on non-profits looking to create a compelling story.
  • They have fewer opportunities to create tactile involvement with your message.
  • Postcards have a shorter shelf life and response curve than envelope mailings.
  • They aren’t appropriate for every brand, product or offer.


Thank you to TensionEnvelope for many of these bullet points.

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